The fact that it’s a synopsis, that’s what’s hard!

Honestly, until I sat down to actually write one, I thought this would be the easiest part of the journey. In my infant days as a writer, I assumed the hard part was going to be getting the 75,000 words down on paper and not giving up halfway through. Then when I hit my stride and was writing anywhere between 5-8k a day, I found that it was the (forgive the term) easy part of the whole process. As I sit in B&N helping a friend of mine plot her novel I realize that plotting is something I love to do and comes fairly easily to me as well. I’m at a point now where I look at a picture and can craft a story around it.

This is, however, more of a curse than a blessing. It’d be fine if I wasn’t trying to balance school on top of writing (or as I think my parents would rather hear me say “balancing writing on top of school”), but right now I don’t have time to plot out fourteen different ideas! But I digress.

While I let my novel sit and percolate in my brain for a while before I begin the hardcore edits, I thought I’d use the time to work on my query letter and synopsis. Even the dreaded query letter wasn’t horrible to write… once the idea came to me. Several drafts later, it’s in a drawer waiting to be used and I’m happy with it.

Finals are starting now and I’m turning to the synopsis as a study break… or so I thought. The deeper I get into this, the more I’m realizing it’s turning into more work than the take-homes themselves! How do you take something that’s 75k and parse it down into only 3-5 paragraphs? One of my professors suggested that I make them five veeerrrryyyy lllloooooonnnnngggg ppppaaaarrraaagggrrraaappphhhsss (in his words) but I don’t think an agent is going to like getting three thousand word paragraphs. ;^)

So that is my goal at some point… to get my SECRET PROJECT down to a measly 3-5 paragraphs. It’s not going to be easy, and there will probably be a lot of crying coming from my corner of the world that has nothing to do with law finals. Hopefully, once it’s done, I’ll have cracked the magic secret of writing the perfect synopsis.

More likely, I’ll be sitting in a corner, rocking, and wondering how on earth I got this done in the first place.

First Draft: Completed

November 21st, 2011

Well, my dear friends and lovely readers, I’m happy to announce that last night I finished my first draft of the Secret Project(tm). I need to go back and tighten up the opening sections to jive with a critique I got, but for all intents and purposes I have a completed first draft!!

*kermit flail ZOMG!!!*

Ahem. Now, where was I? Right. I finished my first draft. I’ve been writing for years, beginning my career with fanfiction and finally moving to write my own things. However, in all my years of writing, never have I completed anything of this magnitude. First draft came in at 73,000 words.

I have to say, this is quite possibly one of the most amazing feelings ever. I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling yet (and I know I’m probably annoying my roommate… and several of my closest friends… and my bestie) with all of my bouncing around. It’s just… I hit the closing sentence of the book, hit the period and realised I have done it. I finally sat down and did what so many people have said they’ll do (write a novel) and I actually did it.

My roommate said it perfectly: Writing is about having more than good ideas. Writing is about having good ideas AND being able to sit your butt in the chair and actually write them down.

Last night’s Simpsons episode (23×06; The Book Job) nailed this perfectly.


Lisa on Writing

I’m hoping that’s going to embed when I post this. If it didn’t, click the link (it’s a flickr video). I apologise that the audio isn’t quite synced, but you get the idea. It was a quick cutting-job. ;^)

But the point is this: writing is about putting your butt in the chair and getting words on the paper.

The next step is one I’m looking forward to: the editing process. I can’t wait to sit down and tear things apart and put it back together in the right order and make it even better than the last draft. Then once this has gone through several edits… then comes the scary proposition of beginning to query agents. *GULP* But that’s still down the road and I’m going to ignore that bit for the present.

Not to mention… figure out what the next book is going to be.

End of the Summer

August 28th, 2011

Whelp. As I’m writing this, my stuff is being packed up and getting ready to be loaded into the car to head back to White Plains for my last year of school. I can tell you… I’m VERY ready to be done.

What does this mean for my writing? Well, I didn’t manage to hit the goal I had set for myself: having 50,000 words written by the end of the summer. I know it was a HUGE goal to have set, especially given the fact that I was working full time at a law firm. After writing 4k a day for the attorneys, it’s rather hard to have the attention span to write your own things.

But, given all of that (and some of my own personal health problems), I was still able to get 20k. Done. Personally? This is the most I’ve ever written in one go. There was a part of me that wondered if I could even get this far without petering out. You know… shiny object syndrome.

Oh look. Shrimp!

I have announced what I’m doing to some of my friends… the ones who wouldn’t laugh at me if I just couldn’t finish this. Once I get to 25k, I’ll finally reveal what I’m doing to the rest. Halfway through (though I do have a feeling it’ll go past 50k, it’s still the first word count goal!), and I know I’ll be able to push and get the rest done.

I am determined to, at least once a week, go to a local cafe to write. I don’t want to get sucked into school so completely that I don’t get to enjoy my true passion: writing.

But you know what they say about best laid plans…

Guess all I can do is hope!

One of the hardest things I’ve found, so far, is finding the time to actually sit and write. I know we writers are, by our very nature, procrastinators. If we can find an excuse not to do something, we’ll do it. I’m too tired, I’m too hot, the light isn’t right.

Makes me think of a line from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown: “If I start writing now, when I’m, not really rested, it could upset my thinking which is no good at all…”

But it really IS true.

The hardest part has been working at the law firm this summer. When I spend all day working and writing memos/briefs for the attorneys, it’s hard to get up the creative stamina to write another 1-2k on my novel. My brain says you’ve already written a couple thousand words, that’s all I have to give right now.

Somehow… I need to give my creativity a good swift kick in the pants. If anyone out there is actually reading this right now (*wave* allo!) what do YOU do at the end of a long day to try and squeeze that next thousand words out, even when your muse has grabbed his margarita and refuses to do a single thing?

Finding Old Things

July 16th, 2011

While going through an old external hard drive last night, I managed to find a few old drafts of things I had been working on and had later set aside just due to everything else in my life taking over. It’s a sad fact that even though you want nothing more than to write, too often things like school and paying the bills come first.

For me, it was college… and now law school. Ugh.

But in any case, I managed to find some early drafts of said current project! And, even better, I think some of it is usable too. It needs to be edited, of course.

Just can’t believe I forgot about this but I’m so glad I found it.

Let the writing continue!

Day One…

July 2nd, 2011

And so it begins. Most of my content is quite repetitive, I must admit, but that will change in the days and months to come. I’m still getting things set up around here and am one of those people that I don’t like showing off until I have something to show off.

Thus, by the time people start arriving at the site, there may be a lot of content ready to see. Who knows?

I wanted to do something that would document my work as I finally do what I’ve wanted to for years: write.

I have no idea where this journey will take me, but I’m in it for the long-haul. I’m not putting the cart before the horse by setting all of this up now before I’ve even finished a first draft. For me, I need to know I have something I’m working toward and this was how I could set a finish line for myself.

I had decided that, by the end of the summer, I was going to have the first draft completed. Figured a couple of months coupled with interning at the law firm would be a first initial goal. Then, I found out that NaNoWriMo was running a summer camp for novelists and I thought… why not? A first draft is a first draft.

The most important thing… is that the ideas get down on paper.

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